Seaside getaways

Snorkeling is a great way to explore the beauty of the underwater world. Here are five places where the family can learn about fish and formations beneath the surface.

Curtain Bluff Resort, Antigua, West Indies. The family-owned and -operated resort in the West Indies is all-inclusive, meaning all snorkeling gear and an in-the-water guide is included with your stay. Want to do even more? Kids will fall into bed each night exhausted from water skiing, sailing, rafting, deep-sea fishing, paddle-boating and kayaking. Ask about summer deals. More info: 888-289-9898;

Westin St. John Resort & Villas, U.S. Virgin Islands. There are few places that provide better family-friendly underwater scenery. At the Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument, you can explore the 12,708 acres of submerged parkland within a three-mile belt off St. John. Also check out Trunk Bay, the island's No. 1 snorkel destination, and its underwater nature trail. Dry off and relax at the 47-acre, palm-studded resort. Book the Unwind on Island Time package and use snorkel gear free for the entire stay. More info: 866-716-8108;

Wyndham Rio Mar Resort & Spa, Puerto Rico. Sail aboard a catamaran to a nearby coral reef, where the boat will anchor. The entire family can snorkel among the live reefs, where hundreds of colorful fish will approach. Enjoy a picnic-style lunch before returning to the mile-long, palm-lined beach. Later, explore the adjacent rain forest, learn about the island's rich culture and history, play golf or tennis or relax by the pool. Ask about summer specials. More info: 877-999-3223;

Ketchikan, Alaska. Zip on your head-to-toe wet suit and explore the colorful and diverse marine life in the chilly waters of southeastern Alaska. Local water temperatures reach 65 degrees in midsummer. Participants must weigh at least 90 pounds. Waters are calm; some tidal pools are shallow. Later, join a half-day boat tour from Ketchikan Outdoors and cruise to a remote island for a picnic among wildlife. More info: 907-247-7783,; 907-220-9959,

Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. With several packages offering equipment and instruction for beginning and experienced snorkelers, families will enjoy this recently renovated resort on South Florida's largest private beach, near one of the best shore-diving spots in the continental U.S. The Beach-Bound Getaway package includes all meals for kids 12 and younger, 20 percent off all resort outlets and a resort credit that covers daily snorkeling. More info: 800-222-6543; Reservations: (use promotional code SPU)

Lynn O'Rourke Hayes is editor of